Cohort Pic(k) of the Day: Honda Orthia (and Partner) – So Doesn’t Look Like A Honda

When I came across this shot by Rivera Notario, of what he called a Honda Partner (actually an Orthia) in Callao, Peru, I was a bit taken aback: this so doesn’t look like any Honda I’m familiar with. It looks like a Mazda or Nissan or something that’s been rebadged as a Honda. Ironically enough, CC commenter Bryce claimed that the Orthia actually was Mazda 626-based, but he was wrong. The Orthia is 100% Honda, on the Civic platform, but with a unique body and sold only in Japan.

Oh, and its partner, the Partner?

This is a very rare case of Rivero Notario not getting an identification perfectly right; the Partner was a stripped down commercial version of the Othario, and something of an analog to the Toyota Probox. Very basic wagons were (are?) still very popular as utility vehicles, for tradespeople, deliveries, utilities and such.

The Partner was built from 1996 to 2006 and available with 1.3, 1.5 and 1.6 L fours.

The name “Orthia” is a variation of the Greek word orithyia, and derives from Artemis Orthia in Greek mythology. It arrived along with its partner in 2002, based on the gen6 Civic. It was soled at Honda Primo dealerships. Power was either a 1.8 or 2.0 L four, and AWD was available. It was replaced in 2002 by the Honda Airwave wagon Stream minivan.

As to what the Orthia replaced, it was the brilliant Honda Shuttle. Now that looks like a Honda!

What’s a bit shocking to me is that we have no CC on this generation of Shuttle, which in AWD form was one of my lust objects back in the day. If I’d gotten one, I’d still be driving it, including for EXBRO. Oh well…